Over the weekend The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opened in theaters across the country. I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening a few weeks ago. This posting is not a review of the movie (although my wife and I did enjoy the film). Rather, I want to raise some questions that I have been pondering since seeing the movie.
At the conclusion of the film is a conversation between Aslan (whom most regard as the Christ figure in the Narnia series) and Lucy (one of the children who travels to Narnia). Aslan says, “In your world I have another name. You must learn to know me by it. That was the very reason you were brought to Narnia; that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” The statement is a direct quote from the book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. I take this quote as evidence that Lewis was seeking to use imagination to generate faith in the readers of the Narnia series. (It is interesting to note that Lewis dedicated all but one of his Narnia books to a child.) Lewis seems to have believed that imagination and faith are linked.
So the questions I have been pondering are . . .
- What is the relationship between imagination and faith?
- How strong is the relationship between imagination and faith?
- Are there necessary limits to this relationship?
- How can imagination and its products (i.e., imaginary worlds such as Narnia) enhance true Biblical faith?
- What is the role of imagination in the education of children within the context of the local church?
I am still thinking about these questions and have reached few, if any, conclusions. However, I would appreciate your input. Let’s think about this together!